MSA 18 Pasadena Nov. 17-20, 2016
The Splendor of the Real: Disrupting The Narrative Agency of Modernism
What is the central narrative agency of Modernism? Is it mind or matter? Or is it neither? Should we anchor Modernism in the elaboration of inwardness (as we may find it in Henry James, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce)? Or does it lean upon an implicit appeal to the sovereignty of "indifferent" Nature (for instance, in Flaubert, Conrad or Virginia Woolf)? What if modernism were seen to actualize an even more estranged notion of the Real, one that is best captured under the heading of the "Copernican" Real in Alexandre Koyré's definition, later taken over by Jacques Lacan and Jean-Claude Milner?